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Sexual abuse

CITY Newspaper file photo

Four more former Democrat & Chronicle paperboys have sued the newspaper, alleging they were sexually abused by their supervisor while on the job in the 1980s.

Their complaint, filed in state Supreme Court on Wednesday, named Jack Lazeroff, a late circulation department employee who oversaw newspaper deliverers at the time, as the abuser.

The Harvey Weinstein trial offered a chance to assess the strength of the MeToo movement. “It’s a perfect test case of what happens when a culture begins to shift,” said Deborah Tuerkheimer, a law professor at Northwestern, to the New York Times.

Is this the beginning of a permanent shift, with the powerful being held to account? Or was the verdict not strong enough? Our guests discuss it. In studio:

(AP) ALBANY - Churches, youth groups, and schools were hit by a tsunami of lawsuits in 2019 after New York gave survivors of childhood sexual abuse a one-year window to sue over allegations ordinarily barred by statutes of limitation.

Now, some lawmakers want to open the same window for people abused as adults, a move that could lay a pathway for people to file additional lawsuits against some high-profile men targeted in the #MeToo movement.

Sen. Brad Hoylman introduced the Adult Survivors Act this autumn, saying survivors of adult sex abuse deserve their day in court.

Karen DeWitt/WXXI News

It was an emotional day Wednesday as hundreds of childhood sexual abuse survivors filed lawsuits in New York courts on the first day of a one-year window of opportunity for victims to seek civil action against their abusers. 

Susanne Robertson and her two sisters were orphans at St. Colman's Home in Watervliet, near Albany, where she said they were routinely abused by the nuns and other staff there. When one of the girls reported the sexual abuse to a nun at the home, she was transferred to an orphanage for mentally disabled children. 

freeimages.com/James Chan

Kevin Higley can't remember if it was the summer of 1987 or the summer of 1988, but he does know he was 14 years old and serving as an altar boy at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Scottsville.

He said a parish priest, Father Paul Cloonan, asked him to go with him to visit a nearby monastery.

"And in the car on the way back from the monastery, he asked me if I could help him with a medical issue," Higley said.